Friday’s inclusion of actress Lisa Robin Kelly on CNN’s popular feature “People We Lost in 2013” has sparked a new round of protest from the afterlife as deceased celebrities are calling for a halt to all list-style commemorations.
“What type of tribute is it,” said one singer who passed away in 2011, ”to be included on a list of people you didn’t like or didn’t even know, half of whom died from booze or drugs? Thanks, E! for putting me on the ‘Fallen Stars.’ What an honor. If I weren’t dead already, I’d shoot myself.”
In a statement delivered by the ghost of Andy Kaufman, who — much to his chagrin– often tops lists of dead comedians, he and other celebrities firmly ask entertainment writers to stop lumping them all together. “Most of had nothing in common other than the fact we died,” Kaufman said. “Oh, what an amazing coincidence. Did you die? Yeah! Hey, me too. Guess that makes us friends.”
Kaufman and others are also calling for a ban on amateurish video tributes on YouTube, tattoos with their likenesses, and embarrassing commemorative websites on which no updates have been made since 2007.
“Let me get this right” said the ghost of one young actor who died in in the 1990s. “You loved me when I was alive, so now you keep my memory alive by reminding the world I died in a pool of my own vomit? How about I tell everyone you crapped your pants when you were eighteen? Oops, sorry. I’ll bet you didn’t want that to get out.”
“I didn’t know any of you weirdos,” said the ghost of Lenny Bruce, who died of a morphine overdose in 1966. ”You’re shedding tears while googling my name to see who I was? I wouldn’t cry if you died. Give me a break.”
“Don’t you dare do a made-for-TV movie about my ‘troubled life,’” the ghost of Amy Winehouse said. “I’ll haunt the hell out of you people.”
“And if you attribute false quotes to me, I’ll really get you good,” she added.
While CNN and E! have not responded to the ghosts’ complaints, a former E! producer said the network generally reserves the right to treat celebrity deaths with a “proper mix” of adoration and scrutiny, and this usually requires a brief mention of accomplishments followed a detailed account of the final pitiful moments of life.
“It may come across as cynical when we put out these lists,” the producer said, “but we care. We really do. And providing these lists helps fans to find closure.”
“Without these lists,” she said, “how’s the public supposed to know whose sad deaths we must mourn this year?”